Pumpkin Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

I had pumpkin fritters that were bought from Woolies and although I enjoyed them, there is nothing like home made pumpkin fritters doused in cinnamon sugar to deal with a comfort food craving. I turned to a trusty book by Lannice Snyman called tortoises and Tumbleweeds and found a really fantastic recipe that did the trick. Try them, they are real simple and the taste, well let’s just say I ate for three. (enough for 4 people if you are not me)

What you need

600g pumpkin chopped
250ml water
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
100g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
Oil for frying

60ml sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The process

Place your pumpkin cubes and water with the pinch of salt into a pot onto the stove, bring to a boil and then turn down to medium and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or so until the pumpkin is nice and soft. Drain off the water, allow it to cool for a few minutes and then mash it well.

Put a pot with about 6cm of oil in the bottom onto a medium to high heat before you continue.

Once the oil is on and the pumpkin well mashed transfer it to a mixing bowl and add the egg, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Give it a good mix to distribute all of the ingredients.

Now take a small amount of batter and test to see that the oil is hot but not too hot. The batter should bubble gentle and not bubble over.

Take tablespoon sizes and drop them into the oil, doing about 6 at a time until they are golden brown and crisp all over.

Place the cooked pumpkin fritters onto some kitchen paper to remove some of the oil and then cover in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

There are few things that will satisfy a craving like these little beauties. I also made the Denningvleis for some friends a while back from the same book which was a real hit.

Mushroom tarts

Mushroom tarts

mushroom tarts

Mushroom tarts

These mushroom tarts are amazing, they are like little crustless quiches that you make in a muffin pan and are perfect for picnics, lunch boxes or something special for the road instead of sandwiches. You really must try these, they are fantastic and so easy. (makes 12)

What you need

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
500g button mushrooms chopped
hand full of parsley chopped
salt and pepper

4 extra large eggs
200ml milk
125ml cream
125ml cheddar cheese grated

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

In a pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the oil. Toss in the onions and cook them until they are transparent but not browned.

Now add the mushrooms and parsley and cook until the mushrooms are beginning to brown on the edges. Give it a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt and mix again.

Remove from the heat and lightly butter your muffin trays. Evenly distribute the mushroom mixture into each muffin and set aside.

Now whisk the eggs, milk and cream with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture equally over the mushroom mix that is in each muffin tin and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of each one.

Pop the tray into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The cheese will be melted and beginning to brown on the tops.

Remove from the oven and let them cool a little while before devouring. They keep for a day or two in the fridge but I doubt that will be an issue.

This is another recipe that you can have a ball with, use less mushrooms and add some bacon, spring onions or anything else that really grabs you. Serve a whole lot of different types at a party, you will be lauded I tell you. You can also fancy them up a bit by topping them with a little bit of green and adding a touch of balsamic reduction.

Try this mushroom soup recipe, its fantastic

Easy flapjack recipe

Easy flapjack recipe

Fluffy crumpet recipe

Following on with the baking theme after the Easy cheese muffin recipe, I have this fantastic crumpet recipe that produces the fluffiest crumpets I have ever made. I have added cinnamon to the mixture for a flavor difference but it is not essential to the recipe. Try them out this weekend for a sumptious breakfast, add a few fruit slices and lashings of butter and syrup, you won’t be sorry.

What you need

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

The process

This is such an easy recipe. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix together to form a smooth batter.

Heat a knob of butter with about 1 teaspoon of sunflower or vegetable oil on medium to hot heat and spoon in amounts of about 1/5 cup for a nice size crumpet. Wait until the top has bubbles popping all over the surface and then turn over to brown the other side. As you turn them they will puff up beautifully.

These are really fantastic folks, you must try them.

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes

There are few things better than smell of freshly cooking pancakes in the morning and this buttermilk pancake recipe is just what the doctor ordered. The challenge is to get them to the plate without eating them yourself as soon as they are done. What you will find as that the kids will be waiting by your side, plate in hand to take them from you as soon as they are ready. (Makes 12 10cm pancakes.) If you are looking for crepes, try this  crepe recipe.

What you need

125g flour
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons melted butter (30g)
1 egg
250ml buttermilk
Butter for frying

The process

The real secret to this recipe requires some patience… if you have it you will be well rewarded, so follow the recipe to the T.

Sift together all of your dry ingredients, make a well and add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk, stir to a thin creamy texture.

Now cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it to stand for at least ½ an hour. Go and have a shower, catch up on the news or have a cuppa… but let the mixture be…

When you are ready to cook, check that the batter is not too thick and if need be, add a little more buttermilk.

Heat a heavy based pan to medium and add a little butter, ladel in enough batter to make a 10cm pancake. Let them cook until bubbles begin to pop on the surface which should be about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

These are fantastic… pile them up, place a generous amount of butter on top and drizzle over some maple syrup, honey or your favorite jam.

The recipe doubles without any problem. Try this breakfast scone recipe, its fabulous.

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

Bacon and cheese muffins

These bacon and cheese muffins are great for quick breakfasts and anytime snacks. You can make them with or without the chives but the chives make them a really fantastic savoury muffin. You can also throw in a handful of corn kernels instead of the chives which makes a nice change. I have been known to smother a version that excludes the chives in butter and strawbeery jam… (12 deep muffins or about 20 shallow muffins)

What you need

6 slices bacon chopped and fried
3 melted tablespoons butter
Handful of chopped fresh chives
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

The process

Heat your oven to 190 Celsius and butter up your muffin tins. You can use cookie papers but the cheese tends to stick to them so butter the muffin tins is a better option.

After melting the butter, remove from the heat and drop in the chopped chives, mix and set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix with a spoon slightly.

In a separate large bowl add the eggs and milk and give a light whisking, then add the butter and chive mixture, the grated cheese and chopped bacon pieces. Give it a good mix to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir with a spoon in a folding motion until combined.

Fill the muffin tins to 2/3 full, pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so until the tops are golden brown.

Remove them from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Variations: substitute chives for corn kernels.
Fancy it up: Sprinkle a few bacon pieces over the top before going into the oven.

Enjoy them folks.

Rock cakes

Rock cakes

rock-cake

Rock Cakes

Every now and then while at the bread counter, I spot these rock cakes which are great for any anytime snack with your tea. They are really simple, excellent for lunch boxes and really just great to have around the kitchen. They are uncomplicated to make and are easily spiced up with a little all spice and nutmeg. This is the basic recipe, try a batch and then if you feel adventurous, add a different flavouring.

What you need

1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
90g butter
2 heaped tablespoons sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons milk
3 heaped tablespoons currants or sultanas

The process

Grease a baking tray with oil and line with grease proof paper, alternatively greasewell with butter and you don’t need to line it. heat the oven to 200 Celsius

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder and then add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until there is no dry flour in the bowl.

Add the egg, milk, sugar and raisins and mix to combine well.

Place heaed tablespoons of mixture onto the baking tray, leaving room for spreading and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the top[s are lightly browned.

remove and cool on a wire rack.

Very straight forward and delicious.

Perfect scones

Perfect scones

scones

Perfect scones

The secret to great scones is in the handling of the dough, be gentle with it and you will have a perfect batch of light, high scones. They really are simple to make and there is little better than scones straight from the oven, heaped with jam.

What you need

2 ½ cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablspoon sugar
40g cold butter cubed
1 cup milk

The process

Heat the oven to 220 Celsius and line a baking tray with grease proof paper by firstly lightly buttering the tray and then sticking the paper to the tray.

In a large bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, repeat.

Add the butter cubes and with your fingertips, rub the flour and butter together until you get a breadcrumb consistency. Be patient here, you want to be gentle while rubbing.

Now add the sugar and give it a final rub through with your fingers.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk.

Use a metal knife and with a cutting motion mix in the milk. Rotate the bowl as you cut through the mixture until the dough come together in clumps and be slightly damp.

Flour you hands and a board or kitchen surface, gently gather up the dough, place on the floured surface and pat down with a light hand to about 2cm thick.

Use a floured 6cm round cutter to cut out the scones and place them on the baking tray fairly close together, they will rise up and not much out.

Gather up the bits left over and pat down again for the last 1 or 2 scones.

Brush the tops with milk and place in the top half of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the tops are golden and they have risen well.

Delicious, eat straight away.

Apple fritters

Apple fritters

apple fritters

These remind me so much of my childhood and I remember distinctly how they would be consumed the instant they came out of the pot. Definitely not for weight watchers, but then we all deserve a treat from time to time. This is an old fashioned recipe and Oh so well worth it.

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Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding

yorkshire pudding recipe

Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding is really great with a beef roast but for some reason they can be really difficult to make, so we turned to trusty Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver for a fool proof method. The secret is in heating the oil first, so for Yorkshire pudding made right every time, follow the recipe exactly.

What you need

75g flour
1 egg
75ml milk
55ml water
2 tablespoons sunflower oil(Delia recommends beef dripping but did not find it at the supermarket)
Salt and pepper

The process

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center, break the egg into the well and whisk together until all of the flour and egg are combined.

Add the milk and water and whisk together very well.

This is the important part.

Heat the oven to 220 Celsius put some oil into each cup of the muffin tin and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to get the tin and oil hot.

Remove the muffin tin and immediately pour portions of the mixture into each the hot cups about 1/2 full.

return the baking tray to the oven on a high shelf for about 20-25 minutes.

Keep an eye on them and remove when they have risen high and are crisp and golden.

This is really good stuff and the best Yorkshire pudding recipe that I have found.

Carrot cup cakes

Carrot cup cakes

carrot cup cakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These are really great and can be eaten with or without the icing. Spoil the kids this weekend!

Cup cakes

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 cups finely shredded carrots (a food processor is great for this)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sunflower oil
4 large eggs

Icing

100g soft butter
100g smooth cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The process

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Add the finely grated carrot, oil and eggs and mix together at a low speed with an electric beater until combined.

Then mix at a high speed for about 3-4 more minutes.

Place paper liners into the muffin dish and fill each one 3/4 full.

Bake at 180 celsius for 20 minutes. (check with a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done)

Leave to cool while you make the icing

Icing

Beat the cream cheese and the butter together until completely combined and smooth.

Add the icing sugar in 2 parts and beat on a low speed until combined.

Add the vanilla essence and beat on a high speed for about 1 minute.

Load it onto the cooled cup cakes.

Here is the best cream cheese icing recipe that can also be made as a chocolate cream cheese icing.